Biathlon combines exercise with target practice

A while back, I looked down at the bathroom scale and was horrified by the number staring back at me. I spent more than a year getting myself back into some semblance of decent shape, but now I need a little more incentive to stay that way.

There are many reasons people work out. The smart people go to the gym or have some sort of fitness routine they do regularly, and they just stay in shape. Others of us woke up one day and realized we needed to start hitting the gym if we didn’t want to keep buying the next size up in pants and shirts. I’m one of the latter. I was a decent athlete when I was younger, and I remember people urging me to stay in shape, because it would be easier to stay that way than to try to get back into good shape if I let myself slide. But I didn’t listen.

I was always amazed at how my clothes seemed to shrink in the closet. Buying new clothes for work was one thing – I would have had to buy new stuff anyway, because I can wear out a pair of pants or stain a shirt faster than anyone I know. But it was when I didn’t fit in my camo gear that I finally decided to do something about it.

Besides the clothes not fitting, I couldn’t get as far into the backcountry on an elk hunt as I used to, and I knew it wasn’t simply age causing that reduction in range. Even a pheasant hunt would take the breath out of me.

So I started working out to get in shape for hunting. I lost a lot of weight, and I started fitting into my hunting clothes again. The more I worked out, the farther and quicker I could go into the woods or through the prairie. And that was great motivation to keep working out. But I am starting to need more motivation.

So I’ve decided to get myself some cross-country skis. When it snows, I’ll be able to change up my fitness routine – but I’m not going to stop at the skis. I’m going to sling my .22 over my shoulder when I ski around my pasture, and I’ll build a couple of shooting stations. That way, I can get some exercise and do some shooting, too. A backyard biathlon might be just what I need to stay fit.